Mark Patterson, of MatlinPatterson, is having his lawyers run around all manner of blogs trying to get them to remove a story originally printed — and possibly to be printed again — in the Daily Telegraph. At this point, all the unhelpful publicity that’s resulting is making it seem as though he would have been better off just ignoring the original article. But while he’s in the news, let’s not forget that he’s not only being accused of calling the TARP a “sham” and a gift to speculators. He’s also the chap who seems to be doing end-runs around bank-ownership rules which seem to be designed to violate the spirit if not the letter of regulations barring private-equity shops from owning banks. Since he’s in the public eye, perhaps now is a good time to start investigating that side of things more closely?
The WSJ has a very pretty interactive graphic, showing what’s likely to happen to the capital of 940 small and medium-sized banks if the “adverse” scenario in the government’s stress test comes to pass. Essentially, using public information, the Journal tried to replicate the stress tests across the industry as a whole.
Francis Cianfrocca is scaremongering: the new credit card regulations, he says, will end up hurting people who pay off their balance in full every month.
It’s one of the most eagerly-awaited books of 2009, and it features “a bizarre tangle of motives and passions whose cast of characters includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, a tenor sax player working undercover, an ex-con with a swastika tattoo and a fondness for Ethel Merman, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang”. More generally, there’s a “splendid cast of characters [which] includes villains, a few heroes, and a lot of people who look very, very foolish”, including “the goats and the few who saw what the emperor was wearing”.
Barry Ritholtz’s book just landed on my desk, and I’m looking forward to reading it, since I think that bloggers in general, and Barry in particular, have been very much ahead of the curve in terms of identifying and comprehending the contours of this crisis.
As Lance Knobel notes, the methodology behind the annual BrandZ league tables is full of mumbo-jumbo — but that doesn’t mean you can’t make like-for-like comparisons. So here’s last year’s league table for financial institutions, on the left, and this year’s, on the right.